Internal Affairs Departments, District Attorneys' Offices Helping Keep Bad Cops From Being Held Accountable

from the can't-solve-a-problem-if-no-one-wants-to-solve-it dept

A certain percentage of police officers are "bad cops," just like a certain percentage of the human race is composed of thuggish sociopaths. That's an unfortunate fact of life. Whether the percentage of bad cops is greater than the percentage in non-law enforcement positions is still open for discussion, although there's a lot about a cop's job that would attract thuggish sociopaths: power, better weapons, nearly nonexistent accountability, etc.

We often ask why bad cops aren't rooted out more quickly. And the answers are depressing and numerous. Bad cops are protected by their own. Bad cops are also, unfortunately, protected by otherwise "good" cops because "bad cops" are often the most dependable of cops. In the rare cases when bad cops are cut loose from the force, the local police union usually works tirelessly to get them reinstated. But even within police departments themselves, there's little interest in rooting out the bad apples.

Inside every cop shop is an Internal Affairs department. In some rare cases, these departments are effective in rooting out the worst of the force. In return for this service, they are universally reviled by the rest of the department -- even by "good" cops. And they often see their uphill battles undone by police unions or upper management.

In other cases, though, Internal Affairs is just another integral part of the defensive "blue line" that shields bad cops from accountability. Among the many instances of abusive behavior uncovered by the DOJ's review of the Newark (NJ) police department (including racist behavior, stop-and-frisk abuse, intimidation and excessive force being routinely deployed) is this incredibly ugly statistic.

The previous year, the American Civil Liberties Union had filed a complaint with the Justice Department accusing police of misconduct. The group provided statistics showing that only on rare occasions did the department act on complaints against officers accused of using excessive force or conducting improper searches and false arrests.

In 2008 and 2009, only one complaint of 261 filed was sustained by department investigators, the ACLU found.

The Justice Department review appeared to confirm that the trend continued in the ensuing years; from 2007 to 2012, just one complaint of excessive force made by civilians was sustained.
One complaint sustained in five years. New Jersey US Attorney Paul Fishman blamed this on a "dysfunctional Internal Affairs department." Paul: you spelled "corrupt" wrong. The only way this happens is if Internal Affairs is in the business of clearing officers of wrongdoing, rather than investigating allegations. That's not accountability. That's aiding and abetting.

The DOJ uncovered all sorts of misconduct that should have been discovered by IA and corrected by PD management.
Blacks, on average, are 2½ times more likely than whites to be stopped on the street, the report found. While Newark police conducted 111 stops for every 1,000 residents among whites, it made 283 stops for every 1,000 residents for blacks — even though the likelihood of finding evidence of crime was about the same for whites as it is for blacks, the report noted…

The reports also said there were "credible" complaints that police sometimes detained people in their cruisers without filing charges, calling it "a humiliating and often frightening experience."

It also documented so-called "contempt of cop" arrests, a phrase used to describe people charged with a crime because they lawfully objected to police actions or were disrespectful.
Finally, in a sentence that is inadvertently hilarious, the DOJ notes that the Newark PD likes to punch people until they calm down.
And, the report noted, officers were quick to defuse volatile situations by using open and closed fists to the head, even though "in many cases these actions were not necessary … and seemed to be simply retaliatory."
The Newark Police Department is ugly all over and Internal Affairs is as much to blame as every officer who participated in this abusive behavior.

But it's not just complicit Internal Affairs departments keeping bad cops on the force. It's also people outside the department who are equally unwilling to hold officers accountable for their abusive behavior. (via Ben Swann)
The Hartford state's attorney has rejected an arrest warrant submitted by Enfield police to charge one of their own officers with third-degree assault and fabricating evidence.

The seven-page arrest warrant application submitted by Lt. Lawrence Curtis concluded that Officer Matthew Worden hit suspect Mark Maher with punches that "were neither necessary nor needed" during an arrest on April 1.

Hartford State's Attorney Gail Hardy rejected the arrest warrant application late last week, concluding that although Worden's actions might violate police department rules they did not rise to the level of criminal prosecution.

"Although striking Maher may have violated Enfield Police Department's use of force policies, Worden's conduct seemed to be aimed at an attempt to restrain Maher who was resisting officers' attempts to handcuff him, rather than an intention to inflict physical harm," Hardy concluded.
When police departments make proactive moves to not only oust but press criminal charges against one of their own, it should be taken seriously. No one knows better just how abhorrent Officer Worden's behavior was than the Enfield Police Department. But when it tried to do the right thing and hold him accountable for his misconduct, the State's Attorney's office shut it down. And not only did it shut the arrest warrant down, it made excuses for the officer's actions.

Officer Worden said Maher was "clenching his fists" and "tensing his arms" as he moved in to effect the arrest. This supposed resistant behavior led to the following:
Worden told Curtis that he delivered two closed fist punches aimed at Maher's upper right arm "to disrupt the nerves and incapacitate the muscles so the arms could be controlled." Worden said Maher was thrashing on the ground after officers took him down and that "this thrashing caused one of the punches to hit Maher in the right side of his forehead above the eye," the application states.
Except the booking photo shows the punches landed somewhere else, contrary to Worden's assertions.


This looks like the result of a direct hit, not the "right side of the forehead above the eye." Then there's this:
The application states Curtis concluded that the video did not show Maher resisting arrest and that at one point it shows Worden, while Maher is on the ground with one arm pinned behind him, stopping to adjust the glove on his right hand before delivering two of the four punches he threw.
I would think someone has effectively stopped "resisting" if the apparently threatened officer has time to make sure his punching fist is gloved properly.

Adding to the ridiculousness of the State's Attorney's decision is the fact that the entire incident was caught on video. The attorney's excuse for seeing/not seeing the same actions that led to the PD drawing up a warrant for Officer Worden's arrest? The arrest scene was complex, therefore: nothing to see here.
In her letter rejecting the arrest warrant Hardy said the video "depicts many moving parts where it is extremely difficult to keep up with everything that is going on with all parties."
"ALL parties?" Does Hardy mean all both of them? She only had two people to keep an eye on: Maher and Worden. But she makes it sound as though the altercation took place on the Coca-Cola bottling factory floor during a visit by a touring Cirque de Soleil troupe. This willingness to see the forest rather than the trees does nothing to deter future bad behavior by Worden or any other officer on the force. And it's apparent that Worden was one of Enfield PD's worst.
Enfield, a department with nearly 100 sworn officers, has had 26 civilian complaints in the past four years. One-third of those were against Worden, records show. In 2013, Worden had half of the six citizen's complaints against the department.
In his seven years on the force, Worden has been involved in a domestic dispute, fought with another officer, and faced multiple complaints about racist behavior or racial profiling. Notably, not a single complaint filed since 2010 has been sustained. Internal Affairs has played a part in Officer Worden's lengthy, troublesome career.

But this is yet another part of the "bad cop" problem. Worden had been previously suspended and ordered to attend additional training, but those deterrents haven't worked. He's apparently still a problem for the department. So, the department made what appears to be a long overdue move and brought assault and fabricating evidence charges against one of its own -- an incredibly rare move in the world of law enforcement. And when it did, the state's attorney tossed it out because the recording was hard to follow and her office apparently doesn't feel it can win the case. But we can be 100% sure that if the situation was reversed, and the arrestee had dealt out a few punches of his own, Hardy's office would have suddenly found the recording easy to follow and clearly indicative of the citizen's guilt.

The system has been rigged for so long that when a law enforcement agency tries to buck the trend by holding an officer accountable, its efforts are completely undermined by the next step in the legal process. Bad cops are here to stay.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 9:32pm

    Good cops should take heed that bad cops are ruining public perception and protecting them will ultimately be bad for everyone down the road.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 10:27pm

      Re:

      They either don't care, don't think they can actually do anything about it, or can't see past 'protecting their fellow officers' to see that by shielding the rot amongst them, the public perception of the entire police force is tainted, with even the 'good' officers seen, and treated by the public, as no better than the worst, if for no other reason than because it's safer for the public to do so.

       

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        nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re:

        The "they" you're referring to (the ones who protect bad cops) aren't good cops, they're bad cops. The good cops - the ones who try to reform police departments and take appropriate action against bad cops - are few and far between, at least in big urban police forces.

         

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      me, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 4:32am

      Re: that combined with the law detaining ruling

      Public patience has limits and things will only get worse as the abuses continue.

       

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      Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 11:05am

      It usually happens the other way.

      Good cops are often pressured to toe the line not just by their bad-cop peers but from their superiors who regard the good cop resistance to engage (to aggress) as under-performance.

      To be fair, my information is anecdotal, but this is what I've heard from the inside.

       

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    Zem, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 11:15pm

    Considering the number of television shows that glorify bad cops, a cynical person could argue that the system is only meeting public expectations.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 11:23pm

      Re:

      I think the phrase you're looking for is 'Setting the bar low enough to trip over'.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:07am

      Re:

      Careful Zem, you're breaking one of the cardinal rules of social discourse by pointing that out. No one is EVER allowed to imply that any form of media (film, tv, games, etc) could ever possibly have ANY negative effect on the person consuming it.

      That belief is a delusion but for those who subscribe to it (just about everyone here as far as i can tell), it is stronger than steel, and you will be either reviled, dismissed, ignored, or laughed at for contradicting it.

      To your point about television tho, the human brain is so easy to manipulate it's no wonder the world is so screwed up given the endless prime time garbage most people feed it every day. Here's just one example: http://libertymcg.com/2013/07/23/this-is-your-brain-on-terrorism/

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 8:22am

        Re: Re:

        "That belief is a delusion but for those who subscribe to it (just about everyone here as far as i can tell)"

        You must live on a different planet than I, since I know almost no people -- even here -- who subscribe to that notion.

        I think that you are generalizing a much more specific thesis that is widely held here and elsewhere (because the data supports it) that violent video games don't make most people more inclined to be violent.

         

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        steell (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re:

        How about some links to studies that back up your assertions?
        Surely there will be many.
        Seems like everything I read about violent crimes says the frequency is decreasing, but at the same time I read endless complaints about the increasing amount of time spent watching TV by American families, claim is that the average American Family now watches 40 hours of TV per week. If your assertion were correct we would be awash in endless violence, instead we read and experience decreasing crime statistics.

        Just don't make sense.

         

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    Paul Brinker, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 11:28pm

    Can't let this happen!

    The DA can't let a cop get a rap no matter the cost because of all those people who would now be able to say "Look, this man lied to the court, the only witness to my client doing something wrong".

    The entire court system would go down as innocent people get released (who would mostly be black of course). We can't have this, not at all!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 11:50pm

    Accountability of Good Cop/Bad Cop

    All cops will be held accountable, just when they are they won't like the consequences. There are good cops, but not many. In any police force that has one bad cop and protects him or her, one can (and should) assume all members of said police force are bad. The only evidence you will see of any good cops in such a police force will be sacking or resignations of officers who object to the protection of bad cops.

    It must be remembered that any population which is pushed hard enough will take matters into its own hands and do damage to bad cops. This was and is still seen today even on totalitarian countries. The USA and UK are rapidly heading that direction.

    The big problem that happens when the citizenry take matters into their own hands like this is that life becomes even more dangerous.

     

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      nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:27am

      Re: Accountability of Good Cop/Bad Cop

      The only evidence you will see of any good cops in such a police force will be sacking or resignations of officers who object to the protection of bad cops.

      In other words, over time police forces tend to be populated only with bad cops. :-(

       

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      Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 11:14am

      Mafias and street gangs.

      Contemporary-era gang sociology regards the formation of street gangs as a response to lawlessness. During the 20th century, it was because official police forces could not be bothered to patrol lower-class neighborhoods, ergo the gangs were a substitute that naturally formed.

      The Sicilian Mafia emerged much earlier in response to the holy inquisition as a refuge for those who were hunted. Once the inquisition realized that torture could apply to witnesses as well as suspects (a point topical to the current torture discourse) then entire villages were often subject to the instruments, with each witness named by the previous out of desperation to stop the pain.

      I've mentioned before this process. All it takes to begin is for a neighborhood to choose to stop calling the police even under circumstances that warrant it. I'm sure Law Enforcement is doing all it can to make itself unwelcome as it is.

       

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    fred, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:31am

    Of course he could have not resisted arrest....

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:48am

      Re:

      So the badge toting thug could line up his shots better?

      The application states Curtis concluded that the video did not show Maher resisting arrest and that at one point it shows Worden, while Maher is on the ground with one arm pinned behind him, stopping to adjust the glove on his right hand before delivering two of the four punches he threw.

      The video evidence, as reviewed by another officer, apparently shows that he wasn't getting beaten because he was 'resisting arrest', he was getting beaten because the 'cop' was enjoying brutalizing a suspect.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 6:11am

      Re:

      Stop resisting (your beat down)

       

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      Reality bites, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 8:27am

      The psychopathic predator could have left him alone

      ... what a pity he didn't resist arrest effectively, IE: shoot the psychopath in the head and then their is one less rogue psychopath hiding behind a badge.

       

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        Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 11:30am

        Reprisal against the police.

        Unless a cop has underestimated the situation and can be easily outgunned, when getting arrested isn't the proper time to fight.

        For this kind of thing, you have to identify the errant officer and attack him when he's off duty with his family. You wipe out the entire family and burn the house to the ground.

        Human beings do not respond to risk against themselves. They DO respond to risk against those people they personally value: Their spouses, kids, siblings and parents.

        This kind of campaign is necessarily bloody. The point of having a functional police force is to avoid resorting to this kind of brutality. In this case, our police, our DoJ and even our government have completely forgotten why they keep their nose clean.

        The blood of patriots and tyrants.

         

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          JP Jones (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:17pm

          Re: Reprisal against the police.

          @Uriel-238

          I really hope you don't actually believe this...you lose any moral high ground by condoning not just murder, but murder of the agressor and his entire family.

          That's not necessary. It's evil. Does our justice system need to be reformed? Absolutely, and at many levels. Is the murder of innocents the method to create that reform? Absolutely not.

          You can't claim "justice" and "killing kids" in the same sentence and be entirely sane. Just a thought.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 4:09pm

            Re: Re: Reprisal against the police.

            "Justice" is in the eye of the beholder. If you are at war, then the opposing side's civilians are just "casualties of war", you know, "collateral damage".

            The various "authorities" are setting themselves up as enemy combatants, and hence when retaliation occurs against them and their families, this is a consequence of the authorities attacking (invading) peaceful people.

            It is good - No. It is reasonable - No. Is it a consequence of action and reaction - Yes.

            Once a government and its associated law enforcement and military groups go down the path of attacking their own citizens instead of protecting their citizens, they essentially become a foreign force and invaders. People will rebel, regardless of the consequences for those around them.

            What is becoming more and more obvious is that by their own actions, governments are creating the very conditions they are trying to prevent by their increased surveillance and authoritarian actions.

            They are demonstrating that FEAR is their main motivating attribute, They are afraid of everything, particularly their own people.

            Once fear sets into a society, then fear will rule that society until it falls.

            When the majority of men and women have no regard for others and are concerned solely about their own "freedoms" and "rights", then society as a whole falls on its own sword.

             

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    Truth, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 2:27am

    Good cops do *not* exist.

    While there may be some who aspire to be good cops initially, once they look the other way while fellow officers brutalize citizens, etc., they become the bad cop as well. If, instead, they call out this errant behavior, they soon become ex-cops. So, as you can see, there are no "good cops" on any given police force.

     

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      nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:29am

      Re: Good cops do *not* exist.

      So, as you can see, there are no "good cops" on any given police force.

      I'm sure there are some small police forces that treat citizens well and don't have anything to cover up. There is just no reason we would ever hear about them.

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 11:16am

        Re: Re: Good cops do *not* exist.

        Yes, where I live there are many of them. I was just thinking about this the other day following Yet Another Bad Cop action locally -- when I was young, it was the small town cops that you had to be afraid of. They were the most likely to be corrupt or abusive. The big city cops were much more trustworthy (outside a few famously bad big cities). Now, it's the other way around. How times change.

         

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          Truth, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 11:28am

          Re: Re: Re: Good cops do *not* exist.

          Actually, not much has changed. Again, you can't remain on the force without either ignoring corruption or losing your job. To ignore corruption makes you a bad cop - there is no getting around this (personal circumstances are irrelevant). There are only varying degrees of projecting the illusion of altruism, usually depending on the public perception of the particular police force involved.

           

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        Truth, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 11:15am

        Re: Re: Good cops do *not* exist.

        Wishful thinking rears it's ugly head. The altruistic cops you envision do not exist anymore than altruistic citizens do.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 9:00pm

      Re: Good cops do *not* exist.

      If, instead, they call out this errant behavior, they soon become ex-cops.
      Is that true? These stories make it sound like cops are difficult to fire. What if a cop just refused, for example, to participate in stop-and-frisk? It's already been declared illegal—would their union really not stand up for them? (I'm disappointed that I've never heard of this happening. It should have happened hundreds of times at least.)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 3:49am

    I try to be even-handed when it comes to organized labour...

    ...but given the rampant lack of accountability LEOs do not deserve a union, plain and simple

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 4:46am

    These "Internal Affairs" and "District Attorneys" should be fired and gaoled for a long time, for perverting the course of justice and aiding and abetting criminal activities.

     

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    Christopher (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 4:48am

    Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

    1) What you call a bad cop is likely a good cop with a bad set of circumstances.
    2) Unless you have done the job or supported the job, your actual knowledge of how it works is insufficient to judge them.
    3) Newark PD, to take a specific instance, should always be allowed to punch their non-compliant suspects. I live near Newark, worked in Newark, went to school in Newark. Newark PD is, if anything, too restrained with some of the walking crap that lives there.
    4) If police don't deserve a union, that's fine. See who you can get to work that kind of job without protection from political interference and tell me how the crime rates are then.


    It's nice that your world-view has sheltered many of you from what real urban life is. I'm happy that you have that. Please, though, don't apply your model to places like Newark, or NYC, or other large urban centers where you would be scared to live.

    -C

     

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      Judge Dredd, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:07am

      Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

      Thank you for your support.

       

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      lucidrenegade (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:10am

      Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

      It is my sincerest hope that you are never allowed to breed.

       

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        Jamie, Dec 30th, 2014 @ 7:11am

        Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

        Somehow, demanding people to not have sex to control the perspective/ideas of the public reminds me of 1984... It may be a private wish of yours, but this country is getting more and more hostile to speech that doesn't fit the status quo - on citizen and government levels. There are many people who support censoring speech, that is technically protected by our Constitution. That's scary shit.

         

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      art guerrilla (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 6:11am

      Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

      and another anti-citizen pig squeals:

      "Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual."

      you mean being against BAD KOPS ? ? ?
      maybe assholes like me constantly harp on how there are no 'good kops' 'cause they REFUSE to call out their bad kop buddies, BUT the writers at tech dirt are scrupulous in sucking up to pig-lovers like you, and maintaining how they have a tough job, blah blah blah, and ONLY go after extremely egregious cases of bad kops...

      to non-thinkers such as yourself, there is no such thing as a 'bad kop', and that describes the nub of the problem right there: YOU
      you are an authoritarian without a heart (yes, i know, an oxymoron)

      "1) What you call a bad cop is likely a good cop with a bad set of circumstances."

      what you call a bad citizen is likely a good citizen with a bad set of circumstances.
      THAT is about 1000 times more likely than your statement...

      "2) Unless you have done the job or supported the job, your actual knowledge of how it works is insufficient to judge them."

      I BEG YOUR PARDON ? ? ? STFU, asswipe, kops are our EMPLOYEES, *supposedly* serving the public; NOT our fucking masters, bosses, or state-appointed torturers, you authoritarian POS...
      WE determine (OR SHOULD, The System is FUCKED) whether kops are doing a good or bad job, whether their policies are in line with what WE WANT, not YOU, you entitled, arrogant flyspeck...

      "3) Newark PD, to take a specific instance, should always be allowed to punch their non-compliant suspects. I live near Newark, worked in Newark, went to school in Newark. Newark PD is, if anything, too restrained with some of the walking crap that lives there."

      by walking crap, you mean kops like yourself ? ? ? otherwise, you are betraying a mindset that is the DIRECT OPPOSITE of what a 'peace officer' (what a joke, amirite?) should have to work within the community they are supposedly serving and protecting...

      "4) If police don't deserve a union, that's fine. See who you can get to work that kind of job without protection from political interference and tell me how the crime rates are then."

      i'm not sure where the 'don't deserve a union' bullshit comes from; however, when the union becomes an institution that reflexively 'defends' bad kops, then it is a bad institution which does not serve the public's needs...

      as it is, the ONLY kind who WANT to work as kops, are fellow low-IQ headknockers, borderline psychopaths, dickless authoritarians who like to throw their donut-stuffed bellies around, and ex-military who can't find ANY OTHER JOBS because they don't exist anymore...

      "It's nice that your world-view has sheltered many of you from what real urban life is. I'm happy that you have that. Please, though, don't apply your model to places like Newark, or NYC, or other large urban centers where you would be scared to live."

      i'm not 'scared' to live in NYC, etc; i think ALL cities above a certain size, are a blight, a cancer upon the geographic landscape, because they use up areas far removed from themselves to support the unsupportable concentration of nekkid apes... THEY ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS, they depend upon -much like capitalist imperialism itself- the domination and use of OTHER's resources to prop their unsustainable systems up...

      besides, in case you have not heard:
      A. violent crime has been trending down for decades, NO THANKS to violent kops...
      B. kops are LESS LIKELY to be murdered on the job than retail clerks, big tough boy...
      C. 90%+ of kops NEVER have to draw their gun in their whole career, far more likely to eat their own gun than get gunned down by a perp...
      D. gee, tell me why kops are so much more likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, and kill themselves FAR MORE than the average population ? could it be the crushing guilt they internalize for being goons for the 1% ?

      kops ? facilitating the police state EVERY FUCKING DAY, hate em, they are anti-American...
      Peace officers that serve and protect ? wish we had some, but they don't exist anymore, they've been SWATTED up to being an occupying army...

      art guerrilla at windstream dot net

       

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        Whatever (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:52am

        Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

        I BEG YOUR PARDON ? ? ? STFU, asswipe, kops are our EMPLOYEES, *supposedly* serving the public;

        I have to disagree with you here, in one sense: They are public employees, but they are specifically paid to serve the public in the sense of protecting them from crime, not giving them a free pass and backing down when someone takes a swing at them or otherwise is abusive with them. They wouldn't be serving the greater public good by letting people who resist arrest get away with it - everyone would resist knowing they could get away.

        gee, tell me why kops are so much more likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, and kill themselves FAR MORE than the average population ? could it be the crushing guilt they internalize for being goons for the 1% ?

        it could also be the stress of dealing with the dregs of society on a daily basis, having to stand up for the public at large and take the abusive behavior and actions of those who shouldn't be allowed to roam free on our streets? Or perhaps seeing what these people do to others on a close up and personal basis?

        Nahh, it's just guilty.

        Paging Paul T... why not take this guy on?

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 11:24am

          Re: Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

          "they are specifically paid to serve the public in the sense of protecting them from crime"

          According to the police themselves, that is not their job at all. They have no mandate to protect anyone from anything. Their job is to investigate crime.

          "not giving them a free pass and backing down when someone takes a swing at them or otherwise is abusive with them."

          This is a strawman. Nobody is arguing that the police have to back down when assaulted.

          "it could also be the stress of dealing with the dregs of society on a daily basis, having to stand up for the public at large and take the abusive behavior and actions of those who shouldn't be allowed to roam free on our streets?"

          Yes, it could. This is a problem with people in general: you tend to behave like those you associate with and the police, as a natural consequence of their job, associate with the worst aspects of society.

          However, that's no excuse. If a cop's exposure to the criminal element is causing him to behave badly, he needs to stop being a cop.

           

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          JMT (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 6:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

          "They are public employees, but they are specifically paid to serve the public in the sense of protecting them from crime, not giving them a free pass and backing down when someone takes a swing at them or otherwise is abusive with them."

          You never strengthen your argument my making up other peoples' arguments for them, you only weaken it.

          Nobody is saying police should give them a free pass or back down when someone gets violent, only that cops not beat them to a bloody pulp or KILL them! And it's it just verbal abuse, harden up FFS.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 7:23am

          Re: Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

          it could also be the stress of dealing with the dregs of society on a daily basis, having to stand up for the public at large and take the abusive behavior and actions of those who shouldn't be allowed to roam free on our streets? Or perhaps seeing what these people do to others on a close up and personal basis?

          WAHHHHHH!!!!! My job is hard!!!! WAHHHHHH!

          I'm so sick of this bullshit argument. If the job is too hard for the officers, then kindly do what any other responsible organization would do - fire the fucktards and tell them to find another line of work.

          Abusive behavior, from the public, my ass. If an officer acts like a no-good piece of shit, then it's the public's responsibility to call them out on it. It's called equal protection under the law.

          Again, if they can't understand that, then they need to find something a little less mentally demanding.

           

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        Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:21pm

        Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

        [Law Enforcement Agents] are LESS LIKELY to be murdered on the job than retail clerks.

        90%+ of [Law Enforcement Agents] NEVER have to draw their gun in their whole career, far more likely to eat their own gun than get gunned down by a perp...

        Do you have source on these stats? I'd really like to use them.

        Off topic: The concentrated urban metropolitans are actually remarkably efficient as habitats and places to focus the thought centers of industry. Most of your drawing-board engineering, from bridges to computer programs to county power networks all are typically designed in municipalities, and as telecommuting goes, that is only going to increase.

        Granted, they are not self sustaining (though Cuba came up with clever models to integrate the two). But that is a given with agriculture anyway: agri allows humans to specialize, and separated cities and farms are an iteration of that phenomenon.

        The biggest space-wasters are suburban sprawls which feature oversized domeciles for nuclear families and little public transit to speak of, so most of their population are heavy commuters. They also require the same amount of freight that cities do, given their retail is spread out in little boutiques rather than large marketplaces.

        /tangent

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 7:03am

      Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

      You mean same NPD which was placed under federal supervision last week?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 7:45am

      Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

      This is America , not the United States of Newark or NYC.
      It's a job. and if you can't live up to the oath that you swore to then maybe you should find another line work like MMA , These are US citizens afforded the same protections that you and I are whether down and out by circumstances or by choice they are still citizens, and humans .

       

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      Reality bites, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 8:29am

      Shining the light on dirtbag lying psychopathic cops is full time.

      What's the difference between a cop and a murdering psychopath.....? The badge.

      Delusion such as your's is cured by a cop beating your head in.

       

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      robert spano, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 9:28am

      Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

      Please move to Russia and stay there. Maybe Chernobyl is your place...

       

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      nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:32am

      Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

      2) Unless you have done the job or supported the job, your actual knowledge of how it works is insufficient to judge them.

      Well you just set them up for zero accountability right there. Let's not let the citizens have any input into how police do their job or how many people they decide to beat up, because we don't know what we're talking about. While you're at it, make sure war criminals can only be tried by other soldiers too. What could go wrong?

       

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        Gwiz (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:41am

        Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

        Is there a name for this type of argument? I see it often enough that there should be a fallacy or something named for it.

        I most often see it as: "You are not a lawyer, therefore you cannot possibly have a valid argument concerning the law."

        It's close to the Argument from Authority and No True Scotsman fallacies, but not close enough.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 11:55am

          Re: Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

          It's also close to the Mind Projection fallacy. But I've always considered this to be a classic ad hom. It's just not one that involves an insult. It's arguing a case based on the characteristics of the opponent rather than the argument they're making.

           

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            nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

            But I've always considered this to be a classic ad hom. It's just not one that involves an insult. It's arguing a case based on the characteristics of the opponent rather than the argument they're making.

            I think you're right: "An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument."

             

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          nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

          It's close to the Argument from Authority and No True Scotsman fallacies, but not close enough.

          Argument from authority was my first thought, but you're right it's not a perfect match. If there's a name for this I don't know what it is. I can't find it on Wikipedia.

           

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          Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:26pm

          Logical falacies

          Ad hominem >> Argument from authority >> Argument from experience.

          There's a little bit of poisoning the well: "If you disagree with me, that's because you're too inexperienced to know." I think that mostly comes from the "too sheltered" comments.

           

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        JP Jones (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:25pm

        Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

        you're at it, make sure war criminals can only be tried by other soldiers too. What could go wrong?

        Technically we do this, in most cases. For most violations of the UCMJ (military law) they are tried by a court martial, who's "jury" (not actually called a jury) is made of up service members. In other words, most military crimes are tried by the military.

        That being said, the police are not the military, and follow different rules.

         

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          Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:33pm

          Juries of peers

          This raises a pertinent issue. Being tried in a court marshal by fellow solders will get you a panel familiar with the context in which shit happens. It can also get you people invested in the consequences.

          A jury of Chelsea Manning's peers didn't work out so well for her.

           

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          nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

          In other words, most military crimes are tried by the military.

          I didn't say military criminals, I said war criminals. Such as people who might be tried by the ICC.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Criminal_Court

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

      @xopher
      1) except its been pointed out how a large % of complaints are for the one cop
      2) I guess if you are an idiot
      3) so you want to justify the cops bad behavior because of others? remember they choose to perform this work
      4) guess we know that already

       

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      JP Jones (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:54pm

      Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

      3) Newark PD, to take a specific instance, should always be allowed to punch their non-compliant suspects. I live near Newark, worked in Newark, went to school in Newark. Newark PD is, if anything, too restrained with some of the walking crap that lives there.

      You mean the very people they're sworn to protect? The police officer's oath is something along these lines:

      I [name] do swear that I will well and truly serve our sovereign country and state, as a police officer without favor or affection, malice or ill-will, until I am legally discharged, that I will see and cause our community's peace to be kept and preserved, and that I will prevent to the best of my power all offenses against that peace, and that, while I continue to be a police officer, I will, to the best of my skill and knowledge, discharge all the duties thereof, faithfully, according to law.

      So help me God.


      Maybe Newark's is a bit different (they don't have it posted anywhere I could find). But it's probably close. Think about that oath. Think about the parts about preserving the peace, being without malice or ill-will, and performing all duties according to law.

      Our law grants citizens protections, and the assumption of innocence until proven guilty of crime. The purpose of this oath is to protect the peace of the community, and to do so without malice or ill-will. Yet with this statement, this assumption, that the very people you are there to protect are "walking crap" you have betrayed everything you swore in that oath.

      As a military service member for eight years, I have never once considered soldiers who commit war crimes "good soldiers with a bad set of circumstances." They were soldiers that betrayed their oath. Service members require discipline, and are supposed to be BETTER than those they fight against. Guess what? That's hard. Boo hoo, if you can't handle it, GET OUT.

      It's not anti-cop to point out criminal behavior. If the police were doing their jobs right they should be identifying and eliminating this behavior. The military does this all the time; I've personally been involved in numerous courts martial, many of which resulted in discharges. It's not shameful to have bad members of your organizations...it's shameful to allow it to continue or try and cover it up.

      And if the police are unable to take care of themselves, those being abused need to be heard. Techdirt is trying to help cops do what they should be doing themselves.

      If you don't believe that, you're one of the bad ones...by your own oath. Sorry.

       

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        nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 2:33pm

        Re: Re: Anti-cop website Techdirt flies same flag, as usual.

        It's not shameful to have bad members of your organizations...it's shameful to allow it to continue or try and cover it up.

        Well said.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 4:34pm

        One small correction

        Our law grants citizens protections, and the assumption of innocence until proven guilty of crime.

        Some of our laws grant citizens protections and there can be under certain circumstances an assumption of innocence until proven guilty of crime.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:16am

    New Solution

    PDs should have a board composed of civil liberties supporters from the likes of EFF, ACLU, etc etc

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:18am

    I think that everyone needs to remember that things like the Rodney King tape show that "what you saw on camera" isn't always exactly what happens. Too often, the videos show what happened at the end, and not the reasons why it was happening.

    On the other side of the coin, there are police officers that are prone to violent outbursts, or who's instinctive reactions to the old fight or flight challenge is to fight. The officer in this case appears to have quite a colorful history in this regard, and potentially should have been considered.

    The actions of a single office shouldn't be taken as damnation to the whole of law enforcement. It's important to consider that recent story about reports of police brutality being way down after cops started wearing personal camcorders. It would be interesting to see if the number of resisting arrest charges also dropped as citizens decided that aggressively asserting their rights through physical acts was just no longer going to work out for them.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 6:17am

      Re:

      "Too often, the videos show what happened at the end, and not the reasons why it was happening."

      I was unaware that police officers were sanctioned for prosecution, sentencing and execution. If indeed they are not, then just what do they think they are doing when they beat the shit out of people? Maybe they should lay off the steroids huh?

      Paperz pleaze.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 8:25am

      Re:

      "The actions of a single office shouldn't be taken as damnation to the whole of law enforcement."

      It absolutely should when the department covers for or excuses the actions of a single bad cop.

       

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        nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:35am

        Re: Re:

        It absolutely should when the department covers for or excuses the actions of a single bad cop.

        He said single office, not single officer. With that said, this is far from a single PD in New Jersey that has this problem. This story is an example of a broader issue, not an exceptional situation.

        The officer in this case appears to have quite a colorful history in this regard

        That is an overly generous way to describe a history of violence and abuse. Are you trying to whitewash the reputation of an abusive police officer, or did it just come out wrong?

         

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          Whatever (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That is an overly generous way to describe a history of violence and abuse. Are you trying to whitewash the reputation of an abusive police officer, or did it just come out wrong?

          trying to be polite. If the prosecutor and the police department in question can't figure out that this guy is a risk based on his history, I am not sure what else can be done beyond replacing them with people who can see the colorful nature of this police officer.

           

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      Reality bites, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 8:32am

      Re: Treason is treason...... pitiful pathetic excuses don't change the crime

      bad cops are traitors, they just need their bullet in the head.

      until the so called "good cops" clean out every last psycho in their ranks they are all bad.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:45pm

      Re:

      "The actions of a single office shouldn't be taken as damnation to the whole of law enforcement"

      You're a joke. That's what you say every time you want someone not on your side surveilled or punished for something that rustles your jimmies.

       

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      JMT (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 7:11pm

      Re:

      "I think that everyone needs to remember that things like the Rodney King tape show that "what you saw on camera" isn't always exactly what happens. Too often, the videos show what happened at the end, and not the reasons why it was happening."

      Actually what you see on camera is exactly what happens (assuming no tampering takes place afterwards). Other evidence will often be needed to put what's seen into context, but it's pretty clear that if the video shows a cop stomping on someone's head, or striking someone in handcuffs, or racially abusing someone, then that is what happened. These sorts of abhorrent actions should not be excused or minimized by context.

      "It's important to consider that recent story about reports of police brutality being way down after cops started wearing personal camcorders."

      Let's not rush to give credit to someone who starts behaving only when there's a camera recording their every public interaction. It's sad to that that was what was necessary to make cops behave.

       

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      Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 8:59pm

      The problem with Law Enforcement camcorders

      It's important to consider that recent story about reports of police brutality being way down after cops started wearing personal camcorders

      There remains a problem with any recording device that is controlled by the law-enforcement officer, is that in many precincts the footage only reaches court if it serves the prosecution for it to do so. That is the way it is with dash-cams and that's the way it would be with hat-cams as well.

      While I do think all law-enforcement encounters should be recorded, police recordings really need to also be public-access, and their absence interpreted by the courts in the way that best suits the defense.

      Not that we're going to get this. As things are police behavior seems to be escalating regarding how they respond to being filmed.

      Maybe in Connecticut we'll see them massacre some filming bystanders for officer safety.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 7:29am

      Re:

      It's important to consider that recent story about reports of police brutality being way down after cops started wearing personal camcorders. It would be interesting to see if the number of resisting arrest charges also dropped as citizens decided that aggressively asserting their rights through physical acts was just no longer going to work out for them.

      Given the number of cops who have no problem arresting citizens for recording them, I don't have nearly the amount of faith in personal camcorders that are controlled by the police.

      You know, your whole "what you saw on camera" argument is very compelling...until you see exactly how much resistance from law enforcement there is to having multiple video perspectives available.

       

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    Bernard, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:54am

    LEO's should be under surveillance

    They should all be required to wear cameras while on the job. No uniformed officer should be allowed to work with camera surveillance. Any failure to maintain continuous surveillance should be punished by suspension and an investigation.

    Camera's are cheap, we no longer have to put up with a police force that is less monitored than we are.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 6:46am

    Drug testing of the cops involved

    Make it simple. Every time there is any use of violence. Take blood samples of everyone involved and use that to determine who was potentially out of their mind with either illegal drug induced mania, or steroid induced rage... I would also like to see it change to no evidence being allowed by a cop, unless it is also on video. If a cop hits someone, the burden of proof of it being justified needs to be on the one that committed the violence.

    Violence does not suddenly become justice when someone wearing a uniform is the one doing the beating.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:08am

      Re: Drug testing of the cops involved

      "Take blood samples of everyone involved and use that to determine who was potentially out of their mind with either illegal drug induced mania, or steroid induced rage"

      I have a problem with this idea, actually. People can be out-of-their-mind violent without drug use, and people can engage in heavy drug use without becoming violent at all. Connecting the two things like this seems like it would make mistakes and miscarriages of justice more likely.

      That said, as long as we live in a society that thinks that mandatory drug testing of employees is an OK thing to do (something else I disagree with), then all police officers (and politicians) should be subject to them as a matter of course.

       

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    Reality bites, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 8:24am

    More evil is perpetrated by those in authority than those under it.

    When rogue cops aren't erased.... they breed, now to the point where 99% of all cops are genuinely evil people. They are just psychopaths with badges and immunity from prosecution or justice.

    When the good don't clean out the bad, all are bad...
    Dial 911 and have a armed psychopath delivered to your door.

     

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      Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 8:42pm

      Re: More evil is perpetrated by those in authority than those under it.

      So stop dialing 911.

      Yes, that means no police intervention. But at what point do we decide that the police are worse than the crime they are meant to prevent or investigate?

      Sooner or later we'll need someone to enforce human justice and keep the peace, but society abhors exactly that kind of vacuum.

       

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    limbodog (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 9:27am

    Good and Bad

    You cannot be a "good cop" and cover for a "bad cop", the two are mutually exclusive.

     

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    rasz_pl, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 11:12am

    There are NO GOOD COPS. Cops that tolerate other bad cops are bad themselves by definition.

     

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    KissMyWookiee, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 2:10pm

    Quit pro quo

    Let's just hope that Officer Worden meets an equally bad person and they do us all a favor ... by terminating their existence on this planet.

     

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      nasch (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 2:34pm

      Re: Quit pro quo

      Let's just hope that Officer Worden meets an equally bad person and they do us all a favor ... by terminating their existence on this planet.

      That might not be the worst possible outcome, but it's far from the best, and IMO not something to be hoped for.

       

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    Eldakka (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 6:10pm

    Why are the police allowed to investigate themselves?

    If I murder someone, can't I just get my companies internal security to investigate it, and my mate who heads it to clear me and never refer it on?

    I mean, that's what the police seem to be doing.

    Why isn't Internal Affairs a branch of the DA's department, rather than a section within the police force? Or even better, the IA section should be a section directly under and reporting to the governing body that establishes the police department, e.g. Mayor's office for a city police force, County office for County police, Governor's office for state police.

    IA shouldn't be substantially recruited from the police force they are overseeing either, IA should hire from outside police forces, e.g a city police force should hire (or second) from the state police, or even from police forces from other states entirely.

    As it stands, it's a case of the watchers watching themselves.

     

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      Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 8:38pm

      Re: Why are the police allowed to investigate themselves?

      Even if law enforcement internal affairs was controlled by the DA, they'd still be too closely knit to be impartial. There have been numerous incidents of DAs colluding with officers in order to secure a conviction. The DA's control of IA would only become another instrument to keep that bond tight.

      I think we'd probably need some sort of extreme transparency policy in which all police materials (such as their dash-cams) are public access, and any missing footage is sided against the state or agents thereof.

      Of course, not here. Not now. Not this United States of America.

       

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    TestPilotDummy, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:11pm

    An Oath Breaker IS NOT a Cop

    I got to tell ya, I know cops. Personally. Some I love, some I hate. But I know them in either event. And the one thing I know, is they are vulnerable. You might not see it when they are in "official capacity" but when you know them, you learn things.

    I keep seeing these beatings and murders by SOME cops and I just can't help thinking to myself, my god if one of the cops I know did this to me, there would be NO PROTECTING THEM from the blowback. Even if you confiscated all my weapons, you could not stop it from happening.

    This is why there IS an oath. This is why you do not break that oath. This is why MIAC report and other agencies that keep releasing bad Operating Procedures for the COP in the street need to be IN FORT LEAVENWORTH KANSAS ASAP.

    Enough of this police state crap. It's part of what is slowly turning the lights out on LIFE in the USA and by proxy the rest of the world.

     

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    Phillip, Oct 6th, 2014 @ 11:23am

    update

    They fired him and the law suit is going forward. For what it's worth, the Chief wanted him gone a long time ago.

     

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